Parasound Unveils Halo JC 1 Flagship Mono Power Amplifier
Parasound has announced the successor to the mighty Halo JC 1 monoblock power amps - the Halo JC 1+.
Following five-years of research and development by John Curl and Parasound, the company can now announce the successor to the famous Halo JC 1 and welcome in the Halo JC 1+ monoblock amplifier.
Parasound states that the Halo JC 1+ sports several circuit improvements enabling it to deliver 450 watts into 8 ohms, 850 watts into 4 ohms, 1,300 watts into 2 ohms, and a peak current of 180 amperes. The company goes on to boast that the power amplifier operates in pure Class A up to 25 watts and Class AB to full power, and showcases Curl's attention to detail and sound quality.
Richard Schram, Parasound's president, told StereoNET:
In early 2003, the JC 1 was an immediate success. We couldn't imagine how to improve it. I was surprised and excited when John called me in early 2014 to discuss his ideas for a new amplifier that would significantly outperform the JC 1.
The result of prototypes produced during 2015 and 2016 that confirmed Curl's theories, along with the sonic improvements he'd predicted, it was decided to create a new amplifier to honour the JC 1's legendary reputation. Schram goes on to add “The JC 1+ is a technological masterpiece, raising the bar for amplifier performance and value for years to come.”
Tipping the scales at 83 pounds, the new JC 1+ is 30% heavier than the JC 1. Additionally, the new 2.1 kVA shielded toroid power transformer with premium H18 grade core offers 20% higher capacity, along with an increase from 132,000 uF to 198,000 uF coming courtesy of the Nichicon power-supply filter capacitors. The new amp boasts 24 Sanken 15A/230V output transistors compared to 18 — a 33% peak current increase, notes the manufacturer.
Clocking in a world's first for a commercially-built product is the Halo JC 1+'s use of active high-frequency noise filtering with Bybee Music Rails. The company says that it eliminates input stage noise that compromises sound quality.
Curl's newly-designed driver stage utilises a cascode circuit with “greater open-loop bandwidth and increased linearity,” according to the company. Also of interest is that the JC 1+ input and driver stages reside on FR-408 printed circuit board material, more commonly used in super-computer and aerospace applications. Furthermore, the input-stage power supply is totally independent of the main power supply, with the unit's R-core transformer isolating sensitive circuitry from high-frequency power line noise.
The Parasound Halo JC 1+ also benefits from the proprietary design of Wilson Audio REL capacitors that are said to resist micro-vibrations that typically degrade the sound quality of other caps.
The addition of an XLR Loop Out, as well as a 12V-trigger/delayed turn-on, augment the connectivity and utility when multiple JC 1+s are used in bi-, tri-, and quad-amp configurations, according to Parasound. While on the subject, Neutrik balanced locking XLR connectors, and Vampire 24k gold-plated unbalanced RCA output connectors facilitate bi-amping. Further connectivity comes by way of Parasound-designed CHK Infinium speaker terminals that play nice with spade lugs up to 16mm wide, banana plugs, and 5-AWG bare speaker wire.
Finally, Parasound says that the front panel design not only matches the updated Halo family appearance but also complements the inner beauty of the JC1+.
Price and availability
The Parasound Halo JC 1+ power amplifier, in a black or silver finish, is available now for AUD $16,995 RRP each. Australian distributor National AV says stock is extremely limited due to demand.
For more information, head on over to Parasound.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.